McLaren team principal Andres Seidl believes the switch to Mercedes power in 2021 is like an ‘open heart operation’. The German admitted that swapping power units was no easy task. However, he believes McLaren can successfully install the Mercedes PU for next year.
Can McLaren make it work?
In 2021, McLaren will switch engine suppliers and use Mercedes power. However, with F1 freezing most of the technical regulations for next year, the change isn’t going to be easy. With the current financial crisis, F1 won’t be introducing the radically different 2021 rules and regulations until 2022.
As a result, teams will be running cars next year, that are very similar to the 2020 machines. But with McLaren opting to switch power units, the FIA had to exempt the British team while still keeping a close eye on things.
The FIA will be monitoring McLaren’s engine change to ensure the Woking outfit doesn’t gain any additional advantages. With the governing body keeping a close watch, McLaren needs to integrate the Mercedes PU while complying with rules, and ensuring the engine performs as expected.
“The integration of the Mercedes power unit is an open heart operation,
“I am very confident that we will be able to do this very, very well,” said Seidl, as quoted by Motorsport-Total.com.
The FIA introduced a token system for teams that need exceptions to bypass homologation rules. By switching to Mercedes, the team has used up both its tokens.
“But we were very happy to do that,”
“Of course, other teams have freedom in other areas, but I think overall it is a good compromise for us, with which we can live very well.”
The British team had its best year in the turbo-hybrid era, finishing fourth in the Constructor’s Standings in 2019. While the Mercedes switch is a positive development, the team also has a solid driver lineup for 2021. With Daniel Ricciardo joining the Woking outfit, McLaren can achieve greatness with a driver of Ricciardo’s caliber in the car.
McLaren achieved great success with Mercedes power before, will history repeat itself when the two forces reunite?